The FX drama “Pose” took a final walk down the ballroom floor, airing its third and final season weeks ago. The period drama about the underground ballroom culture in New York City was created by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy. The Emmy-winning series has one more chance to score tens across the board with Emmy voters. Scroll down to check out 11 exclusive video interviews with top Emmy contenders from the series.
In “Pose,” Mj Rodriguez stars as Blanca Evangelista, an HIV positive trans woman making her way in the world of ballroom as well as facing outside forces seeking to break her down. Her house includes trans model Angel (Indya Moore), Angel’s devoted boyfriend Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) and dancer Ricky (Dyllón Burnside). In the show’s final season, Blanca fulfills her dreams of finding true happiness by becoming a nurse and finding true love with a handsome doctor (Jeremy Pope). In the series finale, Blanca is bestowed legendary status by her former house mother and occasional adversary Elektra (Dominique Jackson). Billy Porter stars as the ballroom emcee Pray Tell, whose larger than life personality masks his own struggles with HIV/AIDS as well as alcoholism.
“Pose” has made history in more ways than one. The series is unique in that it has the largest cast of transgender actors of color on any mainstream television program. That diversity is reflected behind the camera as well, with Janet Mock, who has directed and written many of the show’s episodes, becoming the first Black trans woman to ink a major deal with a major studio. The show also made history at the Emmys as well, with Billy Porter’s 2019 Emmy win for Best Drama Actor making him the first Black gay man to win in that category.
Porter stands to be strong contender in that category again this year. His character was forced to face his own alcoholism and chose to enter rehab. This was followed by a bottle episode in which Pray Tell returns to his childhood home and church to face the trauma of his youth. Pray Tell succumbs to AIDS in the series finale, but not before performing a powerful duet with Blanca in the ballroom, cementing his own legacy within the community. These episode give Porter one dynamic scene after another, giving him the perfect opportunity to become the first repeat winner in the Drama Actor category since 2014 when Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) earned his fourth win in the category.
Even more history-making would be a nomination for Mj Rodriguez in the Drama Actress category. A nomination for Rodriguez, who has already been nominated for a Critics Choice Award in the same category, would make her the first transgender actor to receive an Emmy nomination in a lead acting category. Similarly, nominations for Moore and Jackson would make them the first trans actors to receive nominations in the supporting acting races.
“Pose” has a unique advantage going into this Emmy season. Not only is the show singular in its optimism, but there’s also a timeliness in its message. As of April of this year, as many as thirty-three states have introduced more than a hundred bills aimed at limiting the rights of transgender Americans, which gives the series a degree of urgency as the rights of transgender people are under attack nationwide. Click on the links below to see what the show’s actors and creators have to say.
Steven Canals, Co-Creator/Writer/Director
Billy Porter, Actor
Mj Rodriguez, Actor
Angel Bismark Curiel, Actor
Dyllón Burnside, Actor
Barry Lee Moe, Hairstylist
Sherri Berman Laurence, Makeup
Mac Quayle, Composer
Jamie Walker McCall, Production Designer
Analucia McGorty, Costume Designer
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